If you are already registered for mutual exchange take 5 minutes to read this page as we have introduced a new scheme Home Swap Direct and a way of looking at properties that specifically matches the property you want and your property to the people who currently live there. You will save hours by spending a few minutes reading now!
If you currently live in social housing (either owned by a council or a housing association) you can exchange your property with someone else who also lives in social housing. In this way you may be able to move much quicker than by waiting on your local authority or housing association’s housing register.
For more on what a mutual exchange is and the rules that apply click here to see the government website on mutual exchange - this will open a new window.
What we aim to do on this site is help you find someone who has a property you want to live in where, the current occupant wants to live in your home. When you and someone else have agreed that you want to exchange homes you’ll need to contact your housing association or council and they will do the paperwork that will let you and the people you want to exchange with move.
How to register your property
If you are already on the housing register for the organisation who owns your home and they are one of our partners (Barking and Dagenham Council, East Thames, Family Mosaic, Hackney Council, Havering Council, L&Q, Newham Council, Redbridge Council or Waltham Forest Council), you should use that registration number and your memorable date to log into the system. If you don’t have a registration number you will need to fill in a one page registration form that will give you a number which will allow you to use our mutual exchange system. Click here to complete the form if you don’t already have a housing register number - this will open a new window and keep this window open so you can complete the form and refer to this page at the same time. Please note Havering do not take part in this scheme and you will not be able to advertise your property on this website.
Next you need to register your property. When you are logged into the system go to the Mutual Exchange section it should look something like this
Then click on the link that says Click here to complete a new Mutual Exchange application.
Fill in the form about your property and the type of property you want to exchange with. With some questions like the first one “What type of property do you require” you can select more than one option by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking on the various options with your mouse.
Remember when you fill out what sort of property you want, the more flexible you can be the more likely you are to find a match. You must remember that you will only be allowed to complete an exchange if you meet the landlord’s criteria – that means the right number of bedrooms or maybe a minimum age for some properties. You also need to be realistic – if you have a bedsit on the 14th floor of a building not many people will want to swap a three bedroom house with you. Finally it’s important to be truthful about your property – you don’t want to waste your time or other peoples.
After you have submitted your details if you go back to the mutual exchange screen you will be given the chance to attach pictures of your property. Pictures are a great way of giving lots of information about your property.
We will then check the details to make sure the text and the images are appropriate before displaying the advert so other people can see your property.
During registration you will be offered the chance to register for National Home Swap scheme. This scheme is a nationwide scheme that lets people from different schemes exchange properties – most of our partner’s properties are in London and in particularly east London, but if you want to move to Hounslow or the Highlands of Scotland you can enter the details here and find out what properties are available in other geographic mutual exchange schemes. Or if someone has registered their east London property on another scheme this is where you will find it.
You’ll need to enter your email address search for a property then if you find something that’s suitable you can email whoever lives in that property. It will only show you properties of people who are interested in moving to or around your area. Other people will only have your email if your give it to them, but they will be able to email the address you give so they can let you know if they are interested in your property.
It’s worth noting that you will be asked to enter your contact details for both the National Home Swap scheme and our Mutual Exchange scheme. This allows you to give different information for the two schemes.
If you enter your details for the National Home Swap scheme you will be asked to give a place or places that you are interested in moving to, if the place you enter can’t be found, try being more specific or try a place nearby and increase the distance.
You can also access the National Home Swap scheme by clicking on Home Swap direct on the top menu bar.
When your advert is displayed and you log in to the website the Summary page will tell you how many properties you are eligible for, since many people use the mutual exchange facility on our website this is likely to be thousands of properties. You can use the search facility, by clicking on the word Properties on the top menu bar. However the most powerful way of matching your property with someone else on the system is found on the Mutual Exchange page.
Under the Your Bids section there is a link (Click here to view the Mutual Exchange properties that meet your requirements) which when clicked will show you all the properties that most closely match the property you want in terms of property type (house, flat, maisonette etc), number of bedrooms and location and it will match your property with people living in the sort of properties you want. That means that you will find properties that you are interested in and whether the people currently living there are interested in properties like yours. Properties are suggested by how similar your property and the potential swapped properties are. Little green houses are shown when there is a match and red ones are shown when there isn’t a match.
When you apply for a property you are registering your interest. When the people who live in that property next log onto the system they will be told someone is interested in their property and your contact details will be passed on to them. If someone is interested in your property you can message them, if you want them to reply you must make sure you have applied to their property or given them your contact details otherwise they will not be able to contact you.
If you are interested in exchanging, arrange to see each others properties so you can be sure that it is a place you want to live. Make sure you are safe when visiting or receiving visitors you don't know (if you are unsure how visit this website http://www.suzylamplugh.org/ ).
What to do next
When you and the people you want to exchange with think you want to exchange, follow the instructions on the mutual exchange part of the website and tell your landlord you want to exchange properties. Make sure you are aware of the amount of rent charged and service change, any repair work that is needs to be or is due to be done and if redecorating is your or the landlords responsibility.
Remember the landlord of your property and the one you want to move to have the final say and you must both be eligible to live in the others property. Do not swap properties without notifying your landlord, getting their permission and waiting until all the documentation has been completed. Do not offer or accept any financial incentive or payment to exchange your property. It is illegal and could result in you becoming homeless.
Your property advert will be displayed for 6 months and you can renew it after that time. If you don’t get any interest from other people it maybe worth looking at the marketing text you have written about your property, try adding some more pictures or widening the area or type of property you are interested in.